Supply chain visibility – a critical problem-solving component


By Holger Clasing – Head of Strategy Practice at 4flow consulting.
& Wendelin Gross – Head of 4flow research.

What is supply chain visibility?

Supply chain visibility is the ability to track different goods and products across supply networks, giving a clear view of the inventory and activity. It enables shippers to improve customer service and control cost by managing inventory in transit with proactive status updates, limiting disruptions and mitigating risk.

For the first time, shippers assess that full supply chain visibility is in reach(1). This kind of wide-reaching digital data capability is appealing to many businesses looking to improve their risk monitoring tactics. In fact, a study by Fraunhofer found that digital companies – businesses that implement digital tools and consider digitization part of their corporate strategy – were more resilient in the Covid-19 crisis(2).

Unsurprisingly, supply chain visibility was the technology with highest funding among European startups in supply chain management in 2021(3). Considering a shift in focus to reaction rather than transparency, we are seeing the trend begin to flatten.

4flow trend monitor

Supply chains are in constant motion – and innovation promises to speed up the rate of change. With all these developments, businesses need to know where to focus their efforts to ensure the future viability of their supply chains. The 4flow trend monitor will provide a trend outlook highlighting important developments expected to have an impact on supply chain in the next one to five years.

Getting ahead of the trend

All companies and logistics segments can benefit from increased transparency. The key is to harness the added transparency of visibility platforms to make strategic and operational decisions to increase agility, and not to become overwhelmed by the quantity of information made available by these technologies.

Blog – 4flow trend monitor.
Part 5 of 5 in our 4flow trend monitor series on sustainability and resilience in supply chain


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